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Campus Parking Ticket Roundup-Episode 1-arrested women

Campus_Parking_Ticket_Roundup_01

©Felix Dartmouth, 1998

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Campus Parking Ticket Roundup

Characters:

Jim Cranston – Assistant Chief of Police
Donna Cranston – his wife
Ron Johnson – Chief of Police
Regina Strong – Police Sergeant
Billy Marks – Rookie Officer

The Board of Regents Meeting

I had just joined the State Teacher’s College police force as the Assistant Chief of Police four months before. I was at a Board of Regents meeting, where I was standing  in for my boss, when the topic of campus parking came up. At State Teacher’s we had a lot of the problems that any college town has, bounced checks, drugs, a few firearms violations, burglaries, but parking violations were the problem that took up most of the time of the campus police.

Many of the students lived in small nearby towns, and lived off-campus and drove to class, and the parking lots for students were several blocks away from the class buildings. We had 7 officers whose job it was to write parking tickets, and they were issuing approximately 30 tickets each per day. There were over $2,000,000 in outstanding  parking tickets for current and former students.

I was on the hot seat. Even though I had only been there four months, it was clear that the Board wanted this problem addressed in an aggressive manner. I was at a conference table with 9 board members and several support persons and we had come to my place on the agenda. One of the board members addressed me.

Drill team member Gwen harnessed in leather
Drill team member Gwen harnessed in leather

“Officer Jim Cranston,” he said, “you know that this parking situation has gotten completely out of hand. Our campus is getting a bad reputation because there is no place to park, and many of the students seem to be violating the parking regulations with impunity.”

I knew that I had to appear concerned, but I didn’t want to seem like a “cowboy” on my first appearance before the Board of Regents. “I have been reviewing the problem, and there sure is a lot of money tied up in those tickets. I understand that we are holding student’s transcripts if they have outstanding traffic tickets.” Continue reading Campus Parking Ticket Roundup-Episode 1-arrested women